A former Murray State student, David Wilson from Florissant, Mo., plead guilty to four counts of second-degree wanton endangerment Monday in Calloway County Circuit Court.
The incident, which occurred on Jan. 31, invoked a quick Public Safety response. He was found in possession of bomb-making materials at his residence in Hester College. After arrest and detainment, he was released on bail under the conditions that he stay off Murray State’s campus, stay off any property that sells ammonium nitrate and not be allowed to leave his home in Missouri before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
Wilson was initially charged with four felony counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. Wilson’s plea agreement dropped the original felony charges to misdemeanors.
The charges were amended during Monday’s hearing.
Commonwealth Attorney Mark Blankenship said it was the Commonwealth, in agreement with Murray State, who agreed to the terms of the plea agreement.
Before allowing Wilson to plea, Foust made sure the he understood the charges and made him aware of the severity of the crime.
“The Commonwealth could have done much more, and it would have ruined your future,” he said. “I hope, for your sake, you do not get in trouble again.”
Foust questioned Wilson about his motives behind the incident and Wilson said he had no intention of using the explosives on Murray State property.
Wilson said he would often use the materials recreationally to blow up tree stumps on his parent’s Missouri farm, miles away from any other homes or people.
Following Wilson’s statement, Foust accepted the pleas and sentenced Wilson to 12 months being conditionally discharged. He said for two years Wilson was to not commit any other offenses, is to avoid disruptive people and places, make restitutions and to stay away from materials used in bomb making.
Under the set conditions, the University will not allow Wilson on Murray State property without expressed permission.
Rick Lamkin, Wilson’s defense attorney, said he and Wilson would be requesting Murray State organize a Judicial Board hearing in which Wilson could give his own testimony and ask to be readmitted to the University following his sentence.
In a statement made by President Randy Dunn earlier in the semester, Dunn said there would be a zero-tolerance policy with an issue of this magnitude. He said the top priority of the University is the safety and security of the students. There is no word as to whether Dunn supports such a judicial hearing.
Mike Young, assistant vice president of Student Affairs, said according to the student life handbook and the University’s rules and regulations, Wilson had the right to ask for a judicial board hearing.
He said if a hearing is conducted, the panel, made of members from Faculty Senate, Staff Congress and the Student Government Association, would decide whether or not he would be allowed the chance to speak on his own behalf.
Said Young: “The Judicial Board would then make a ruling as to whether or not he would be allowed back to the University as a student or not be allowed to return at all.”